2020 graduates, quarantined: Help celebrate!

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2020 graduates, boy in cap and gown, holding diploma

There are myriad viewpoints and opinions regarding politics, medical issues and social debate about coronavirus. Even close friends or family members might not always see eye-to-eye. One thing I think we can all agree on is that our hearts go out to the 2020 graduates in outside schools who didn’t get to finish their senior years. Whether in college or high school, they are missing out on many age-old traditions (like walking the stage or attending prom), and that’s sad.

One thing I love about 2020 graduates and youth in general is that they are typically resilient and have positive attitudes. These are the young adults who will be running the country some day, who will be changing the world. I believe in them. I trust them and greatly admire them. Still, the present moment isn’t what they expected it to be. So, it’s up to us to come up with some creative ways to help them celebrate! We want to honor these graduates for their achievements and let them know their lives are NOT insignificant.

2020 graduates should be recognized

2020 graduates, girl holding sign in yard
One of the beautiful 2020 graduates from my town!

Most states are still in lock down mode and have prohibited public gatherings. This, of course, includes graduation ceremonies. The people of my community wanted to recognize our high school seniors, so a group of good-deed-doers made some yard signs.  People can honk horns as they drive by or toss some candy or small gifts on the lawn for a happy graduate to find!

Adopt a senior

A creative young person in my community also shared an idea to help honor 2020 graduates.  She launched a Facebook group where parents can post pics of their seniors and write a short “yearbook” style biography. Other people in the community can then browse the page to “adopt” a senior. (I adopted TWO because they are so sweet and I couldn’t resist!) Once you “adopt” a senior, you send them little notes or cards of encouragement in the mail.

You can send gifts and other tokens of celebration, as well, to let them know they’re not forgotten. I contacted the families of the 2020 graduates I “adopted” so I could find out my seniors’ favorite colors, hobbies and snacks. Now, I can personalize the messages and gifts I send! One of my sons happens to be a senior this year, so I was thrilled with this community project. I posted his bio on the page, and he was “adopted” by dear friends of ours. With a few button clicks to start a FB group, you can help celebrate the 2020 graduates in your town, too!

Virtual graduation parties

Pitt 2020 sign, yellow grad cap, champagne on ice
Don’t let quarantine keep you from celebrating the 2020 graduates in your family!

A few friends of mine have college graduates in their families this year. Since they can’t gather in large groups, they’ve been using ZOOM or other platforms to host virtual graduation parties! Complete with party hats, decorations, cake, snacks and beverages, families and friends are gathering through electronic devices to acknowledge and honor the achievements of their favorite college grads!

Students who worked so hard to earn diplomas or degrees deserve our praise and congratulations. They understand that they are living in troubled times. Many of them have dreams and aspirations to better our world, and I have great hope that they will succeed! Certain things are out of our control at the moment, but we can find ways to let these students know they are loved. Visit this post on our Hot Mess Press Facebook page and share your creative ideas in the comments!

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